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Packers' Aaron Rodgers: 'I Don't Need to Throw 40 Touchdowns for Us to Win'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has as many games with more than 300 passing yards (three) as he does with less than 200 this year, but his team is 12-3 and winning in different ways than it has in the past. 

He knows he doesn't have to carry the Packers by himself anymore.

"I think the level of success and the way that I feel I'm playing is different in this offense this year," Rodgers said, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. "I don't need to throw 40 touchdowns for us to win. I need to be great on my checks, be as efficient as possible. I need to take care of the football."

While Rodgers isn't lighting it up like he has in the past, he has avoided turnovers and allowed running back Aaron Jones and the defense to take over. The eight-time Pro Bowler has 24 touchdown passes to just three interceptions, although one of the picks came in Green Bay's most recent win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Fortunately for the Packers, Jones broke free for two late touchdowns to help the Packers earn the road win and clinch an NFC North championship.

"The expectations are for greatness, but my responsibility was to get us in checks," Rodgers said of the game. "My responsibility was to get us in the right protection scheme and take care of the football, and although I threw a pick, I felt like what I needed to do in that game, I was executing at a winning level. But any quarterback wants to throw four or five touchdowns a week. It's just that hasn't been the case this year, we haven't needed it to win 12 games."

It is a testament to Green Bay's overall depth that it is still on the shortlist of Super Bowl contenders despite an un-Rodgers like season from the legendary quarterback who is a mere 21st in the NFL in QBR.

It is also a warning to the rest of the NFC because Rodgers is capable of rediscovering his touch at a moment's notice. After all, he is a two-time league MVP, Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer who can still make almost any throw necessary if asked.

If Rodgers starts playing like he has for much of his career, Jones—who leads the league in rushing touchdowns—continues to play at an elevated level and a defense that is ninth in the league in points allowed per game continues to keep opposing offenses in check, the Packers will be a threat to the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and the rest of the NFC.

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